Posted by: Wayne | August 28, 2010

Ballistic fungus

Maria and I took a bit of time this morning to indulge one of our other hobbies: shooting.  We put about a box of ammo through two small 357 revolvers.  We also did a little impromptu water testing.  I fired my gun (3″ barrel) at a row of 4 milk jugs.  The bullet exited the last jug and kept going.  After this, we lined up 5 jugs and Maria fired her gun (2″ barrel) at that row.  The bullet stopped in the fourth jug.  Figures.

The bullet used was a Speer 158 grain LSWCHP (lead semi wadcutter hollow point).  This means it is an unjacketed bullet (lead) with a blunt nose and a shoulder (semi wadcutter) with a hollow cavity in the nose to promote expansion (hollow point).  This was loaded into a piece of Winchester 357 brass in front of a mid-level load of Alliant Unique powder, ignited by a Remington small pistol primer.

The results were everything we hoped for.  The bullet does not appear to have lost any weight (my scale only goes to 100 grains, but I don’t see any pieces missing).  It also expanded from 0.358 inches up to about 0.55 inches while penetrating over 18 inches of water.  I took a few pictures of the resulting slug.  The first picture shows an unfired bullet and the expanded bullet.

Unfired and expanded bullets.

Another item of interest is the gas cutting near the base of the fired bullet.  I don’t know if this is the result of too high a pressure or of an undersized cylinder throat.  Regardless, the barrel didn’t have too much lead, so I am not going to worry.  I did take another picture of just the fired bullet that I thought turned out rather well.

A single fired 357 bullet.

This shot was handheld at about 1/5 second with a Canon compact camera.

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